Friday, January 16, 2009

Research in Color Science: Next Challenges

In the Ninties, when I still had sap flowing in my veins and had the energy to pursue a hobby of scientific research, I was organizing events like the color conference at the IS&T/SPIE Electronic Imaging (EI) symposium in San Jose every January.

One of the features was a Wednesday evening panel discussion on the future in our field. The panel members were the most influential movers and shakers in industry and academia, and the extremely skilled moderator was always A. John Michaelis.

Topics included titles like Where will electronic publishing lead us?, What aspects of electronic imaging limit the digital publishing revolution?, and Communicating with computers: How long can the keyboard and mouse survive? What comes next? Those panel discussions used to be very hot and had impact.

For example, at the one in 1998, somebody in the audience protested that we were using the term electronic publishing but that was not what we were talking about. The argument was that electronic publishing referred to the use of electronic technology to do publishing with the old mechanical workflow. Instead, we were discussing a radically different set of workflows, so we should coin a new name, like digital publishing.

This just came out spontaneously in the heat of a very animated discussion. It was followed by a few seconds of total silence, but then the name stuck.

Well, in reality it took a couple of years and I had to organize a conference called Digital Publishing to make it stick, but now this term is generally used since then.

With this background, I was very moved to learn that this year at EI the color conference has introduced a session called The Dark Side of Color taking place at the end of Wednesday afternoon.

Alas, as a little engineer working in the trenches, I am not able to attend EI. However, when Mohamed cannot go to the mountain, the mountain will go to Mohamed. In fact, we can simply organize an old style panel discussion post-EI here in Palo Alto. This way it is not a conference and it does not require travel.

So if Friday January 23, 2009 you are in the vicinity, please drop in at 1501 Page Mill Road at HP Labs from 3 to 5 in the afternoon. Some luminaries like Jan Allebach, Jennifer Gille, Gabriel Marcu, John McCann, Michael Kriss, Carinna Parraman, Alessandro Rizzi, Gaurav Sharma, and Sabine Süsstrunk have already signed up to be on the panel. It will be an open event with nothing to sign, but since we do not have an auditorium with an external door, you can get in faster if you email me before and I can have a visitor badge ready for you.

The panel discussion topic is Research in Color Science: Next Challenges and will take place Friday January 23 in the Sigma conference room from 3 pm on. I hope you can make it.